I tell my clients all the time: it’s so important to facilitate a working atmosphere that seems super cool and fun, not because you need to treat your employees well, but because you must trick them into thinking they’re happy and enjoying their lives as opposed to selling their precious time, ideas and energy to you in exchange for a ‘nice comp package with comprehensive bennies’.
Here’s a handy list of guidelines that will make every day at your office feel like a supercoolfantastic fun party, give them something to brag about/justify their existences with, and keep those worker bees making that honey money.
- Not an Office, but a “Loft” — Your offices should be in a loft. If they’re not, you should rip out ceiling tiles, pull up flooring, expose some brick, and do whatever it is you have to do to facilitate a “loft-like” atmosphere. Creativity only happens in lofts.
- Lots of Screens Everywhere — Nothing inspires creativity by having lots of HD screens all over the place, broadcasting futuristic imagery, cool motion graphics with your logo, neat web data API visualizations, and hip creative TV shows like “Mad Men” and “Jersey Shore”.
- “Futuristic Vintage” Chic — Everything should have a crafty, hand-made, “vintage” feel (as if the whole interior was purchased directly from Etsy), BUT should also feature lots of modern furniture so it looks kind of like you’re in the home of an artsy hipster DIY space robot from the future.
- Sweet Snacking Sitch - Install cool branded vending machines with Organic Energy Drinks, Local/Sustainable Snacks, and if you’re working with programmers, a fridge full of Nerd Juice (Mountain Dew).
- Lip Dub Mondays — Nothing helps people shake off the weekend and get ready to work like starting the week off right with a viral video-friendly coordinated company-wide “Lip Dub” to a hit pop song that shows just how freewheeling and fun-loving your “team” really is.
- Giant Vehicles Parked Indoors — Busses and vans and trucks and old Airstream trailers aren’t supposed to be parked indoors, so there’s something really cool and rebellious about it when they are.
- Livestreaming From the Office — If you’ve successfully set up the most next-lev chill and creative office space of all time, the world will want to see it, so you should regularly set up live Internet video streams so random people can log on to the net and just watch your employees work. Yes your office is SO fascinating that other bored office workers would actually be entertained by watching the banality of your offices unfold… in real time!
- ChillPods — You’ve got to create little futuristic-looking places where employees can take a break, kick back, jack in to the MatrixWire, and iDose on some inspirational mp3’s.
- Video Games, Beanbags, Action Figures — And any other items that cultivate the general feeling of being in the childhood bedroom of someone who grew up in the ’80s/early-’90s. You should also make a big show of having cool “RockBand” or “Old-School Nintendo” parties after work sometimes.
- “Zen-like” Pseudo-Buddhist Bullshit — People like to feel spiritually connected at work, so you should definitely throw in a few pebble gardens, contemplation pools and transcendence sculptures for good measure.
- Free Booze Fountain — A notion that may be old as work itself, but still an effective one. Nothing helps a person blot out the pain of hours turning into days turning into weeks turning into years turning into lives of quiet desperation quite like a few stiff ones on the house.